Thanks to Peter da Silva and someone called Disappointed Optimist, I discovered a fine website called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which is where many of these came from…
The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
2. The long dark tea-time of the soul
How Douglas Adams described the failure to think of anything to do on a Sunday afternoon; the wretched boredom of the immortal Wowbagger. Thanks to Ed Rogers.
The sinking feeling when anticipation fails to be the greater part of pleasure. Nominated by Joe Ainsworth.
The sadness that you’ll never know how history turns out.
The realisation that each passer-by has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
A sense that something, somewhere has gone terribly wrong. Via Davey Barton from The Meaning of Liff.
7. Mauerbauer- traurigkeit
The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends you like.
The sense that time keeps going faster.
The forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned.
The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
Next week: Mondegreens (from Lady Mondegreen, a mishearing of ‘and laid him on the green’: new ones, please)
Coming soon: The ‘true’ meanings of medicines (such as Atorvastatin: the secret police of a former Soviet central Asian republic). Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to firstname.lastname@example.orgReuse content